Relationship Dilemma Remedies

A Blog About Solving Common Relationship Dilemmas

Are You Ready for a New Relationship? Assess Your Readiness for a New Relationship

Often people think that the best way to heal from a broken heart is to get right back into a new relationship.  That can be such a mistake.  Entering a new relationship without first gaining distance, perspective and understanding is like trying to cover up a wound without cleaning it out first.

Lost relationships deserve to be grieved.  Even if the choice was yours to end it, there is still the loss of the hopes and the dreams that must be faced.

Take time, significant time and go slowly into any new relationship.

While there is no “magic number” or amount of time to wait before beginning a new relationship, think in terms of months rather than weeks.  Some experts suggest that you should wait a month for every year that you were in the relationship before jumping back into another one.

Thinking, journaling, talking out loud with a trusted friend or therapist will help you walk this walk in a way that will allow you to come out stronger, smarter and with more emotional intelligence.

Here are some suggestions for questions to journal, think and talk out loud about.  Be sure to go through them several times.  With distance, there can be new understanding.

Questions about the relationship that just ended.
Look to the relationship that has just ended for learning about yourself in a relationship.  Understand, as well as you can, what you did well and what might help you choose and/or be a better partner in a new relationship.

These questions are good ones to ask yourself as a relationship is ending, several weeks after it is over and again several months later.  Distance often brings new perspective.

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May 2, 2012 Posted by | choosing healthy partners, Dating, dating advice | Leave a comment

How can I build trust in a dating relationship?

I have had bad luck with dating.  The guys that I go out with either end up leaving me or have some problems like pot, alcohol or dating several at the same time but not letting me in on this.  Trusting a new person is hard and yet I really want a new relationship. Can you give me some ideas about how to find someone that I can trust and when I can decide that it is okay to let down my guard.

Congratulations to you, Tara, for recognizing that you want to go more slowly and be more careful before beginning a new romantic relationship.  Dating is and should be about learning about yourself as much as it is about finding the right person for the rest of your life.

Think about these ideas when you are looking for a new romantic partner.

We tend to be drawn to the “familiar”, even if it is not necessarily healthy. Our radar seems to just “hone in” on partners who feel comfortable to us, even if the comfort level is not a good one.  Hence, we may find ourselves drawn to “thrill-seekers” or engaging alcoholics or players because their behaviors remind us of other significant relationships with parents or former loves.

We have to find ways to get over one significant relationship before beginning a new one. Finding a new love is really not the best antidote to getting over an old one.  Take time to mourn the loss and grieve the hopes and dreams for what might have been.

Take the time to do a “post mortem” about the relationship. Was this just about your  “picker”?  Or would you say that you did some things that you know that you want to do differently the next time around?

What about that picker?
Have you chosen the same kind of person only with a little different look?  Are you always with someone that you have to “fix” or take care of?  Do you tend to choose men who are romantic and exciting but with no history of commitment?

What about your own half of the relationship?
Are there things that you did with communication or with conflict that you know you need to do differently?

These are just some points to ponder.  Please call or email us if you have comments or questions.  We offer online counseling by phone and by email and would be glad to work with you in more detail about your specific situation.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | choosing healthy partners, Dating, single, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dating Advice: What Are Some Things I Should Look For In Choosing a Partner?

So, what are some of the things to count in and count out when looking for someone to date?remember_when_image042


Has your new interest been able to hold on to a job for a while, have healthy relationships with friends and family or be able to explain honestly some of his or her decisions about distance or disruption in a relationship?  Is he or she able to be nurturing and supportive?  Does he/she struggle with “old baggage”?

While you may be of different political perspectives, can you respect the differences?  Are they too large?  Do you believe that your partner is honest and has integrity?  What about spirituality?  Is he/she a loyal person?  Responsible?  Trustworthy?


Is your new interest able to handle money effectively?  Is debt appropriate for his or her status?  (Student loans are a lot different than a large credit card balance.)  What do you notice about how he or she handles money when you are together?

Interests and Lifestyle
Do you have things in common?  Like similar music interests? Activities? Hobbies?  What about social activities, do you both enjoy generally the same level of activity with others?  Does one of you really like to be out and about while the other is more of a “homebody”?

Education and Intelligence
Do you have similar educational backgrounds?  Relationships work best when there is similarity although it certainly does not have to be equal.  It is also best when intelligence is similar.  It enhances conversation and interests.


What does your interest think about marriage?  What are his/her thoughts about roles for a husband and wife?  What about children?  If he/she could describe an ideal marriage, what would it be?

While beauty is only skin deep, there are also some physical characteristics to consider.  Certainly, physical attraction is one of the first things that you notice but, in the long run, some aspects may remain important.  Is being “fit” important to you? Are neatness or stylish dressing important to you?

January 15, 2009 Posted by | choosing healthy partners, Dating, dating advice, single, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For Singles: How Ready Are You For An Emotionally Intelligent Relationship?

attachmsc1Consider these questions and answer them honestly about yourself to determine if you know how to be part of an emotionally intelligent and healthy relationship.  Think about friends and especially about those you date as a way of determining if they are able to be part of a healthy relationship with you.

  1. I am able to communicate my needs in a relationship with others.
  2. I am able to listen well and resist giving unsolicited advice.
  3. I am able to say “no” when I need to.
  4. I can be clear about preferences for closeness or distance in friendships/relationships.
  5. While I do not consider myself to be one who likes conflict, I am able to talk about disagreements and remain in the discussion.
  6. I know how to calm and soothe myself in a stressful or conflictual situation.
  7. I know what “healthy boundaries” are and I am able to respect my own and those of others.
  8. I am able to be nurturing  and allow nurturing in a relationship.
  9. I am able to reach out and repair a friendship/relationship with words and actions when it is needed.
  10. I have identified characteristics in a partner that are important and I am able to end relationships (get out of ones that are  not healthy) when I need to do that.
  11. When there are differences in the kind of partner who attracts me and the kind of partner who fits with my values and life, I am able to make the distinction and make choices that are healthy for me.
  12. I have made decisions about what part I want sex to play in a relationship and can communicate those clearly and stand by them with my partner.
  13. I have a good sense of humor.
  14. I know how to say “I am sorry”.

If you can answer “yes” to 12 out of 14, congratulate yourself on your emotional intelligence and seek dating partners and friends who reflect these characteristics as well.

January 5, 2009 Posted by | choosing healthy partners, Dating | Leave a comment

Dating: 7 Healthy Habits

Here are 7 habits for dating and choosing healthy partners.

  1. Go slowly in a new relationship.  There is no reason to rush.  Enjoy the experience of really getting to know someone.  Put off the “Where are we going with this?” discussion for 6 months.
  2. Think about your past relationships and learn from them. What did you do right and what you want to do differently?
  3. Have a checklist of qualities that are important to you and stick with them.  Dating is more about finding someone healthy for you than someone who likes you.
  4. Think of dating as a sport rather than an intense search for THE ONE. Relax and have fun.
  5. Meet your date’s friends and let some of your friends meet your date.  See how he/she acts around friends and assess what you think about your date’s friends.
  6. Consider a rule for yourself about sex and intimacy such as not to sleep with someone new for at least a month.
  7. And finally, never mistake infatuation for love.

Do you have ideas as well?  We would love to hear from you.

December 29, 2008 Posted by | choosing healthy partners, Dating | Leave a comment